Seed applied technologies (SAT’s) are basically any protection and growth technology that is supplied with the seeds in the bag. This can include seed treatment with fungicides, insecticides, nematicides and biologicals offering a solution to the farmer maximising her or his productivity. Once seeds are in the ground, they are vulnerable to early season pests and diseases. Seed applied technologies get crops off to a good start. Successful crop establishment is a key driver for the final yield.
European Seed (ES): Arend, how do you make sure your products stand out from the competition?
Arend Vermazeren (AV): It starts by selecting molecules in our discovery process that are best-in-class. Of course, one of the selection criteria is effectivity against a pest or stressor, but we also look at the toxicological and environmental properties in deciding what compounds we develop. From a selected compound to “SAT in the bag” still takes quite some development including recipes and rigorous testing on plantability, ease of application, seed safety and efficacy amongst others in our labs and in the field. We also have strategic partnerships to offer integrated solutions which includes complementary components and can be biological and chemical.
ES: In which ways are your company’s SAT’s helping environment, health and safety?
AV: With SAT’s, we offer targeted solutions applied directly to the seed precisely where and when they are needed. This means products are active in the root zone, and exposure to the farmer or operator, beneficial insects and the environment is limited. Also, our recipes ensure strong adherence to the seeds, good flowability and very low dust-off during seeding. Risk assessments as part of the regulatory requirements confirm the safety of our SAT’s for humans, non-target organisms and beneficial insects. SAT’s fit in Integrated Pest and Crop Management where we minimize inputs with maximum productivity.
ES: Can you give some examples?
AV: Examples are our Lumiposa® insecticide seed treatment in Winter Oil Seed Rape and our Lumisena® fungicide solution in sunflower. Both technologies provide protection at the start of the season ensuring good crop establishment. And both technologies are very selective on the pests they control, and therefore, have a very low impact on the environment. They also save foliar applications at the start of the season. To that they fit very well in an integrated solution combining new technologies like precision planting and innovative genetics.
ES: How are SAT’s providing benefits to consumers?
AV: At the end of the day, the consumer wants high quality food produced in a sustainable way. Sustainable means low impact on humans and the environment. But sustainable also means providing a solution to the food producer aka the farmer, now and in years to come. SAT’s fit perfectly in an integrated and sustainable way of food production.
ES: What is stewardship and how does it support safe and sustainable use?
AV: Stewardship is the responsible management of products and technologies throughout their life cycle. It is a culture we foster within Corteva and that is supported by product reviews ahead of commercialisation and by training internally and of our customers. We think beyond legal requirements to ensure the safe use of our technology. Ultimately applicators and farmers need to understand both the benefits and limitations of our technology and use it properly so it can be part of the solution for years to come.